ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday announced final printing of computerized electoral rolls, culminating the marathon exercise started months back to give the nation an error free document for setting future course of free and transparent general elections.
"We have finally done it. We worked as a team to prepare this most important document. We always had objections about voters' lists. But, today I say, we have with us a clean document," remarked Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim during his first media interaction after assuming the charge as CEC.
Flanked by members of the Commission and officials from NADRA, Census Commission and NGOs, Fakhruddin admired the services of all stakeholders in data collection and compilation as well as printing the electoral rolls.
"It is the most important document but it was never so authentic in the past as it is today. It has input of all stakeholders."
Asked as if these rolls were final for polls, the CEC said, by now these are final-but are subject to changes until the election schedule if announced.
"We can correct, we can amend, delete and add votes but with minimum room for mistakes. We committed lot of mistakes in the past. Let us not do it again. Let us lay foundation for free, impartial and transparent polls."
He said for a better future of country, free and fair election is imperative. "We committed mistakes. We complained of rigging. But, time to complain is over now. People are aware and so the parties. We have moved to a change and starting with new rolls."
He also invited input from the stakeholders especially media, civil society and political parties and said, "we are open minded. Our main objective is to conduct free and fair elections. It is time to get anomalies corrected."
Fakhruddin also mentioned to appreciable response of voters to SMS service and said, 78,00,000 voters verified their details through sending SMS to toll free number 8300.
Answering a question, Deputy Chairman NADRA informed that a complete database has been created keeping record of every voters, the verifier and those who have filled the voter's forms.
When asked about holding of Local Government elections, the Chief Election Commissioner said, the ECP is ready for elections whether local government or the general elections.
"We were ready earlier and we are ready now," the CEC stated although he made it clear that except Balochistan no other province had yet enacted the laws to hold local government elections.
Secretary ECP, Ishtiak Ahmed Khan told media that new electoral rolls have been sent to ECP offices at district level and we plan it to extend to Union Councils.
About overseas Pakistanis, the Secretary said, there are around four millions registered voters abroad. But, new legislation was required for their vote cast and there is a possibility that their vote is cast through postal ballot.
According to details, out of total 84365051 registered voters 47773692 are male and 36591359 are female voters. Total registered voters from Punjab are 48308644, from Sindh 18432877, from KPK 12064597, from Balochistan 3278164, from FATA 1675967 and from Federal Capital the number of registered voters is 604802.
The mediapersons were also informed that computerized electoral rolls carry the names of all those who had crossed 18 years age limit on May 31, 2012. However, those reaching the age limit required for registering a vote till the announcement of election schedule, shall also be included in these lists.